Monthly Archives: March 2013

A Conversation With Margi Robertson

An attentive audience gathered at Toitu last Thursday (28 March) to listen to a captivating question and answer session with Margi Robertson of NOM*d. We learnt about Margi’s mother’s cultural background (Russian but of Greek descent) and how her mother came to be living in Germany making uniforms for soldiers. Lucky for us, the family chose Margi’s birthplace, Central Otago, as a destination. The family moved to Dunedin when she was a baby. Margi was taught to sew ‘properly’ from an early age.

Margi during questions and answers.

Margi during questions and answers.

Margi and her husband Chris are a tight team and have both been there from the beginning of the business. He was sitting behind us at the Toitu talk and enthusiastically added the odd extra comment. We couldn’t resist repeating this photo from a previous post.

iD Designer Sale NOM*d fabric stall.

iD Designer Sale NOM*d fabric stall.

We learnt about the early days of the business, made possible by selling an MG car to raise the necessary capital. The first boutique, Hang-Ups, opened in Moray Place (now Mazagram) back in 1975 when rent was only $13 a week. Lack of space saw Hang-Ups move to The Exchange in 1976 and finally to the newly built Golden Centre (Dunedin’s first shopping mall) in 1978. However, foot traffic, mall-style, wasn’t their bag. In the meantime, the beautiful former Ernest Adams cake shop at 310 George Street came up for lease – a “fringy” part of town at that time. This became the first Plume. For many years the emphasis was on knitwear. However, when NOM*d were invited to London Fashion Week in 1998, they needed more than just knitwear. Being a keen op-shopper, buying up and reworking vintage pieces became the next stage.

Exhibit from the 2008 collection celebrating 21 years of NOM*d. It uses two reworked vintage cocktail dresses (one inside out) with a ‘Rollercoaster’ polo neck jumper and skinny pants underneath.

Exhibit from the 2008 collection celebrating 21 years of NOM*d. It uses two reworked vintage cocktail dresses (one inside out) with a ‘Rollercoaster’ polo neck jumper and skinny pants underneath.

Dress made from deconstructed vintage knitwear ('Stiff Upper Lip' AW07).

Dress made from deconstructed vintage knitwear (‘Stiff Upper Lip’ AW07).

Eventually, the pool of 1950s/60s cocktail dresses and other vintage pieces dried up. The emphasis then had to be on new pieces.

Margi has a fascination with gym slips and uniforms. Not exactly sure about the season – most likely to be from 'C'MON' (AW06).

Margi has a fascination with gym slips and uniforms. Not exactly sure about the season – most likely to be from ‘C’MON’ (AW06).

Margi loves the aesthetics of Japanese style (unashamedly black) and the grey tones of Antwerp in Belgium. Plume’s interior is also influenced by Japanese presentation (minimalistic and well organised).

Plume (March 2013).

Plume (March 2013).

Margi is drawn to tartans (nothing to do with Scotland), checks and ginghams. 'Panel Back Tunic' from 'Danse Macabre' (AW11).

Margi is drawn to tartans (not because of Dunedin’s Scottish heritage), checks and ginghams. ‘Panel Back Tunic’ from ‘Danse Macabre’ (AW11).

Margi talked about her design team whose premises are on Castle Street. The process starts with an idea or a picture and the collection name is generally decided at the end. Due to popular demand, there are far more dresses and far less trousers than in the past. Margi believes designers should stick to what they’re good at, in her case, womenswear rather than menswear or handbags. She doesn’t have a favourite past collection (each new one becomes her favourite).

Many of NOM*d’s fabrics are unique to them. 'Guide Skirt' from 'A Raven's Tale' (SS12/13). Fabric shows NZ icons and the words 'NOM DEALAND'.

Many of NOM*d’s fabrics are unique to them. ‘Guide Skirt’ from ‘A Raven’s Tale’ (SS12/13). Fabric shows NZ icons and the words ‘NOM DEALAND’.

Margi prefers screen printing to digital printing because she likes the imperfections and colour richness. She intends to continue having everything made in New Zealand. Different factories around the country specialize in producing different products, e.g. tees in Palmerston North, knitwear in Christchurch.

Horror Tees from 'Do Not Disturb' (AW12).

Horror Tees from ‘Do Not Disturb’ (AW12).

Thanks so much, Margi, for a fascinating insight into your world.

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What Are You Wearing March IV?

Great to see so many of you flying the flag for NZ fashion!

Nicola wears NOM*d 'Standoff Tee' from 'A Raven's Tale'.

Nicola wears NOM*d ‘Standoff Tee’ from ‘A Raven’s Tale’.

Zach and Amy. Zach wears top from Yaks n Yetis. Amy wears top from Glassons.

Zach and Amy. Zach wears top from Yaks n Yetis. Amy wears top from Glassons.

Katie wears op-shop dress.

Katie wears op-shop dress.

Lisa and Michelle. Lisa wears Trelise Cooper dress. Michelle wears Lonely Hearts skirt from Belle Bird and shoes from Ruby.

Lisa and Michelle. Lisa wears Trelise Cooper dress. Michelle wears Lonely Hearts skirt from Belle Bird and shoes from Ruby.

Heather wears dress from the uni market.

Heather wears dress from the uni market.

Scarlett and Sam. Scarlett wears op-shop items. Sam wears top by Dunedin-based Clothes I've Made.

Scarlett and Sam. Scarlett wears op-shop items. Sam wears top by Dunedin-based Clothes I’ve Made.

Mackenzie wears cardigan from Plume and custom-made boots by McKinlays.

Mackenzie wears vest from Plume and custom-made boots by McKinlays.

Sam and Kate wear second-hand and op-shop clothing.

Sam and Kate wear second-hand and op-shop clothing.

NB: Sorry if we’ve spelt anyone’s name wrong. Please let us know and we will correct it.

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Unsettling Spaces, Alleys and Keg Parties: Paintings by Dunedin Artist and Canvas Maker, Craig Freeborn

Visiting Craig’s studio is always an adventure. His paint-splashed walls are covered with posters, canvases, tools and paintings, and it’s not long before you find yourself completely absorbed by his art. Craig’s most recent collections ‘I Went Out Walking’ and ‘Hyde Street Reflections’ capture a darker side of Dunedin. In his paintings of student parties and nights out on the town, he adds unsettling elements: blurred faces, emptiness and grey tones. This turns an ordinary scene into something much more sinister. 20th Century painter Francis Bacon is an inspiration for Craig’s realism, use of colour and eerie characters. But, using Dunedin as a setting makes these paintings unique.

Craig's studio

Craig’s studio

Work in progress

Work in progress

Craig's workroom

Craig’s workroom

Does this bar look familiar?

Does this bar look familiar?

‘Hyde Street Reflections’ Collection

Craig wears jacket from Box of Birds, Port Chalmers.

Craig wears jacket from Box of Birds, Port Chalmers.

You can see more of Craig’s art at http://www.craigfreeborn.com.

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Fabulous Finds 2

We try to stick to under $50 but just this once we’ve made an exception by including leggings by the fabulous Rakel Blom. So stoked to have bagged them!

NOM*d socks ($5 a pair) – from iD Di Lusso Designer Sale

NOM*d socks ($5 a pair) – from iD Di Lusso Designer Sale

Retro top ($3) – ReStore, Corner Vogel and Gordon Streets, Dunedin

Retro top ($3) – ReStore, Corner Vogel and Gordon Streets, Dunedin

Dada Vintage wool beret ($15) – from iD Di Lusso Designer Sale

Dada Vintage wool beret ($15) – from iD Di Lusso Designer Sale

Karen Walker filigree pendant ($25) – BelleBird Boutique, 327 George Street, Dunedin

Karen Walker filigree pendant ($29) – BelleBird Boutique, 327 George Street, Dunedin

NOM*d tees ($10 each) – from iD Di Lusso Designer Sale

NOM*d tees ($10 each) – from iD Di Lusso Designer Sale

Vintage beaded bag ($6) – ReStore, Corner Vogel and Gordon Streets, Dunedin

Vintage beaded bag ($6) – ReStore, Corner Vogel and Gordon Streets, Dunedin

David Elman shoes ($30) – The Clothing Port, George Street, Port Chalmers

David Elman shoes ($30) – The Clothing Port, George Street, Port Chalmers

Rakel Blom leggings ($75) bought from the designer herself!

Rakel Blom leggings ($75) bought from the designer herself!

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What Are You Wearing March III?

This section has it all! Op-shop, designer, high street and shows that style has nothing to do with age!

Jack and Jo. Jack wears an I Love Ugly shirt and a custom-made necklace (made by Jo). Jo wears vintage and a Karen Walker ring.

Jack and Jo. Jack wears an I Love Ugly shirt and a custom-made necklace (made by Jo). Jo wears vintage and a Karen Walker ring.

Mother and son, Aliana and Elvis. Aliana wears a jacket by NOM*d and Prada sunglasses. Elvis wears op-shop his way and shoes from The Modern Miss. Thanks so much to Inside Out for providing a great setting for the photo.

Mother and son, Aliana and Elvis. Aliana wears a jacket by NOM*d and Prada sunglasses. Elvis wears op-shop his way and shoes from The Modern Miss. Thanks so much to Inside Out for providing a great setting for the photo.

Juanita, originally from Timaru, wears a mixture of coordinated vintage.

Juanita, originally from Timaru, wears a mixture of coordinated vintage.

Lana wears a selection of op-shop clothing.

Lana wears a selection of op-shop clothing.

Rosie wears an op-shop cardigan.

Rosie wears an op-shop cardigan.

Maureen, originally from Ireland, wears op-shop dress bought specially for St Patricks Day – it only cost $4!

Maureen, originally from Ireland, wears op-shop dress bought especially for St Patrick’s Day – it only cost $4!

Liani wears a jacket from Glassons and sunglasses bought online.

Liani wears a jacket from Glassons and sunglasses bought online.

Pietre and Sophie. Pietre wears leggings from the pyjamas section in Farmers! Sophie wears head-to-toe op-shop.

Pietre and Sophie. Pietre wears leggings from the pyjama section in Farmers! Sophie wears head-to-toe op-shop.

NB: Sorry if we’ve spelt anyone’s name wrong. Please let us know and we will correct it.

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iD Dunedin Fashion Week Roundup

There were so many events in Fashion Week it was impossible to get to all of them. Here’s a sample of some of the things we did attend.

Charlotte Smith Book Signing in the Golden Centre, Dunedin

Charlotte Smith, curator of the Darnell Collection, signs copies of her books 'Dreaming of Chanel' and 'Dreaming of Dior'.

Charlotte Smith, curator of the Darnell Collection, signs copies of her books ‘Dreaming of Chanel’ and
‘Dreaming of Dior’.

'Dreaming of Chanel' by Charlotte Smith

‘Dreaming of Chanel’ by Charlotte Smith

Thanks so much for encouraging our blog and yes, we certainly include vintage.

Thanks so much for encouraging our blog and yes, we certainly include vintage.

Meet Stephen Jones in the Golden Centre, Dunedin

Stephen Jones talks to admirers.

Stephen Jones talks to admirers.

It was lovely to meet you and thank you for signing the cards.

It was lovely to meet you and thank you for signing the cards.

Kimberleys Window, A Nod To Stephen Jones

iD Fashion Show

Adair and Tannia. The most stylish pair of the night – the Otago Daily Times thought so too. They are dressed entirely in vintage and Tannia runs an online vintage shop called 'Most Wanted'.

Adair and Tannia. The most stylish pair of the night – the Otago Daily Times thought so too. They are dressed entirely in vintage and Tannia runs an online vintage shop called ‘Most Wanted’.

Karen wears Kate Sylvester AW13 lipstick pants. We want them too.

Karen wears Kate Sylvester AW13 lipstick pants. We want them too.

Meet the Emerging Designers, Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Kathryn from the Otago Polytechnic Design Department wears dress made from fabric used by Annette Cadogan for her label 'Iris'. Kathryn's lovely matching shoes were bought on TradeMe.

Kathryn from the Otago Polytechnic Design Department wears dress made from fabric used by Annette Cadogan for her label ‘Iris’. Kathryn’s lovely matching shoes were bought on TradeMe.

‘Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen’ talk at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum

Dr Jane Malthus shared her pearls of wisdom about the psychology of colour, why the quality of 19th Century garments is so incredible and why purple/indigo is worn by the wealthy only – there is no synthetic form of it. She took us on a journey through fashion history: from the creation of dyes to the application of colour blocking. She also explains why blue and green should never be seen. Her reason was not based on fashion snobbery but because they clash on the colour wheel!

Dr Jane Malthus

Dr Jane Malthus

Selection of 1970s fabrics and dyes

Selection of 1970s fabrics and dyes

Selection of 1970s fabrics and dyes

Good example of yarn-dyed cloth from the 19th Century

On the Way to Musical Theatre, Saturday 16 March

We came across this group in York Place and couldn't resist asking them for a photo.

We came across this group in York Place and couldn’t resist asking them for a photo.

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Meet the iD Emerging Designers: Saturday 16 March

Held at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, the event was intended to be a question and answer session with a pre-selected group of designers, by chance including the three main prize winners. The failing sound system made this impossible and a free for all was declared. No problem – it was fun chatting with the designers and what a lovely lot they were.

Rakel Blom and Emma Boseley, first and second prize winners.

Rakel Blom and Emma Boseley, first and second
prize winners.

Rakel Blom (Otago Polytechnic): Peroni First Place Prize

Rakel’s clothing collection called ‘The World Through My Eyes’ makes your heart sing with its vibrancy and youthful vitality. Her five outfits represent five continents: Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and North America. The attention to detail is amazing, with hand stitched and laser-cut perspex stars and buttons. Rakel is the first Otago Polytechnic student to win this competition. Rakel you have done us proud!

Miss Africa featuring zebras, Moroccan patterns and South Africa's Gazania flower. The wool is hand-dyed.

Miss Africa featuring zebras, Moroccan patterns and South Africa’s Gazania flower. The wool is hand-dyed.

Fabric detail with perspex buttons and stars.

Fabric detail with perspex buttons and stars.

Rakel wears a dress in Miss Europe fabric.

Rakel wears a dress in Miss Europe fabric.

Charlie Chaplin is hard to miss but how many other icons can you spot?

Charlie Chaplin is hard to miss but how many other icons can you spot?

Emma Boseley (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology): Caffe L’affare Second Place Prize

Emma’s focus is all about exaggerated shapes and how they change the body. Her garments were really spectacular on the catwalk and it was great to see some male models.

Emma with her garments: wool coat, leather top and worsted skirt. She also wears her own-design jacket. We love orange!

Emma with her garments: wool coat, leather top and worsted skirt. She also wears her own-design jacket. We love orange!

Charlotte Cho (Auckland University of Technology)

Her collection ‘KAPOW!’ is based on superhero comics. She creates her own knitting patterns using computer technology and hopes to turn this into a commercial enterprise. We love the cats!

Charlotte and her crazy cat garment.

Charlotte and her crazy cat garment.

Back view showing gorgeous colour combination.

Back view showing gorgeous colour combination.

Karen Yang (University of Technology, Sydney)

Her collection ‘BelleVille’ is inspired by mixing traditional Congo patterns with the French dandyism shown by ‘le Sapeurs’.

Karen with a piece from 'BelleVille'. The contrasting colours and patterns are fabulous! She also designed her leggings.

Karen with a piece from ‘BelleVille’. The contrasting colours and patterns are fabulous! She also designed her leggings.

Back view shows Congo scenery and culture.

Back view shows Congo scenery and culture.

Mandy Myles (Otago Polytechnic)

Great to see a local in the competition and she went to the same high school as us. Her collection ‘Hello. I’m not from here.’ explores fantasy and humour.

Mandy with her chunky oversized jumper. You can just see the figurines sewn into the lining of the pants. Amazing!

Mandy with her chunky oversized jumper. You can just see the figurines sewn into the lining of the pants. Amazing!

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iD Dunedin Fashion Show (Friday 15 March)

What a magical (and warm) evening down at the Railway Station! We couldn’t capture all the designers but we did our best and we do confess to having some favourites. The music was an eclectic mix including the Sex Pistols and Adele’s ‘Skyfall’. Here goes…

Dunedin Railway Station

Dunedin Railway Station

NOM*d

Eclipse Jacket

Eclipse Jacket

Utility Dress

Utility Dress

No Matter Jacket

No Matter Jacket

Poster Tee, Nemesis Skirt

Poster Tee, Nemesis Skirt

Tamsin Cooper

Charmaine Reveley

Battle Frock in Orange Poppy

Battle Frock in Orange Poppy

Battle Frock in Emerald

Battle Frock in Emerald

Comperes Tova O'Brien and Charlotte Shipman wear Charmaine Reveley

Comperes Tova O’Brien and Charlotte Shipman wear Charmaine Reveley

Dada Vintage

Rakel Blom

Olivia Bloxham

Samuel Ralph

Tansy Morris

Company of Strangers

SVA Tunic

SVA Tunic

Subway Sweater

Subway Sweater

Yvonne Bennetti

Mild Red

Stephen Jones

Thanks so much for bringing your wonderful hats to the deep south. You are a legend!

Thanks so much for bringing your wonderful hats to the deep south. You are a legend!

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What Are You Wearing March II?

People seem to be pulling out all the fashion stops this week. Could it be the iD buzz? Guys have certainly upped their game.

Anna wears cape from The Cuckoo's Nest.

Anna wears cape from
The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Natalie and Will wears a mix of vintage and new. Natalie also wears an NZ wool hat.

Natalie and Will wear a mix of vintage and new. Natalie also wears a
NZ wool hat.

Rosa wears coat she bought at The Vintage Roundup and a vintage dress.

Rosa wears coat she bought at The Vintage Roundup and a vintage dress.

Anthea wears dress from Cotton On and horse necklace from a Sydney market.

Anthea wears dress from Cotton On and horse necklace from a Sydney market.

Ralph from Oamaru wears vintage collected over a number of years.

Ralph from Oamaru wears vintage collected over a number of years.

Melissa wears her mum's vintage 22 carat gold necklace and skirt. She holds Prada sunglasses.

Melissa wears vintage 22 carat gold necklace and skirt, gifts from her Filipino mum. She holds Prada sunglasses.

Alex wears vintage denim waistcoat and Glassons skirt.

Alex wears vintage denim waistcoat and Glassons skirt.

Georgia and Mac. Georgia wears John and Yoko tee from Cotton On. Mac wears shoes from Camper.

Georgia and Mac. Georgia wears John and Yoko tee from Cotton On. Mac wears shoes from Camper.

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Fashion Timeline in Dunedin’s Wall Street Mall

If you’re in town and have a few minutes to spare, check out the fashion timeline mannequins displaying clothes from 1889 to the 1980s. It won’t cost you a cent! Here’s a selection:

Fashion Timeline

Fashion Timeline

Wall Street Mall

Wall Street Mall

Moulin Rouge (1889)

Moulin Rouge (1889)

The Jazz Age (1920s)

The Jazz Age (1920s)

World War II (1939-1945)

World War II (1939-1945)

Swinging Sixties (1960s)

The Swinging Sixties (1960s)

Jacqueline Kennedy Sophistication (1961-1963)

Jacqueline Kennedy Sophistication (1961-1963)

The Diverse Age (1970s)

The Diverse Age (1970s)

The Age of Exaggeration (1980s)

The Age of Exaggeration (1980s)

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